Paengaroa School - 17/02/2017

1 Context

Paengaroa School is located in a semi-rural setting east of Te Puke township. The school caters for 219 students from Years 1 to 6, of whom approximately half are of Māori descent. The board is currently exploring the establishment of a community of learning (CoL), along with a cluster of schools from Te Puke and surrounding districts.

Since the previous ERO review in 2013, the principal and deputy principal both continue in their roles, and a new assistant principal has been appointed to the leadership team. Also since that time, some long serving staff have left and new teachers have been employed.

The school district is predominantly connected with the horticultural industry, and children are drawn from the local Paengaroa Village and surrounding areas.

2 Equity and excellence

The vision and valued outcomes defined by the school for all children are to 'provide fair and equitable opportunities with stimulating, challenging and purposeful learning experiences designed to help children achieve personal success and self esteem'. The school's vision documents the intent for 'Paengaroa people to achieve personal success through hard work, creativity, persistence and motivation and strive for physical, academic and social excellence'.

The school’s achievement in National Standards information shows that during the last three years in reading, writing and mathematics patterns of achievement have remained consistent. Levels of achievement for Māori children in 2016 was approximately 80% in reading, writing and mathematics.

Girls and Pākehā children achieved very well, particularly in reading and writing, with both of these cohorts exceeding 85% at or above the standard in 2016.

Teachers gather information about children's achievement in relation to National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics using a range of appropriate standardised tests. They use this information, along with data gathered during the year, to make judgements about each child's achievement in relation to the relevant National Standard. Teachers work collaboratively to moderate their assessments to ensure their overall judgements are as reliable as possible. The school reports that the impending involvement with the CoL is likely to provide opportunities to moderate with other schools to add extra rigour to current moderation processes.

Since the previous ERO evaluation the school has introduced a programme of 'teaching as inquiry' that has enabled all teachers to reflect on, and improve, their practice in relation to accelerating progress for children achieving below expected levels. As part of their inquiry, there is an expectation that each teacher:

  • identifies children whose progress requires accelerating in their class
  • plans a programme to target the learning needs of these students
  • reflects on their practice in relation to the progress children make during the year
  • modifies their practice to establish what works to accelerate progress for these children.

The school reports that while there has been no school-wide externally facilitated professional learning for teachers, many have attended courses and shared ideas with colleagues about ways to accelerate children's learning. The new assistant principal/Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) provides leadership for teachers in the coordination of support programmes and initiatives.

The leadership team and the board are currently considering the implications of modern learning practice as they investigate the place of collaborative practice, the use of computer technology, and flexible use of learning spaces in the future development of the school curriculum.

3 Accelerating achievement

How effectively does this school respond to Māori children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school is making a positive difference to many of the Māori children whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. However there are systems and practices to be strengthened to be effective for all children.

Thorough processes are in place to identify children whose learning is at risk, and school leaders know the names and numbers of this small group of Māori students. Some of these students have specific educational and developmental needs. These needs are being addressed in a well-coordinated way under the supervision of the SENCO and in consultation with classroom teachers.

The board's approach to setting strategic annual targets that are focused on reducing disparity in the school for Māori children requires strengthening. An important area for development for trustees is to ensure that these targets are more specifically focused and aligned to Māori children whose learning is at risk. This will enable trustees to monitor and report about how effectively the school is accelerating progress for these children. This more focused approach is necessary to bring about alignment of:

  • school-wide planning and reporting processes with the priority of reducing disparity for Māori students in the school
  • decision making about professional development priorities and resourcing decisions.

Teachers approach to accelerating progress for Māori students also requires strengthening. The next step for teachers and leaders is to ensure recent developments in teaching as inquiry:

  • are more specifically focused on accelerating progress for Māori students whose learning is at risk
  • are closely aligned with school-wide targets and focused on reducing disparity in the school.

The board, principal and teachers need to more fully investigate key documents such as Ka Hikitia and Tātaiako, with a view to building teachers' cultural competence. This is necessary to:

  • establish shared understandings and practice about what 'Māori enjoying and achieving educational success' looks like at Paengaroa School
  • improve the achievement of Māori children as a group and achieve parity with other learners in the school.

The principal and board need to establish processes to clearly document how the school is consulting with Māori parents and whānau to establish plans and targets to raise achievement for Māori students. Records of this consultation, and actual outcomes, are needed to establish how effectively the school is engaging Māori parents and whānau and provide a foundation for ongoing review of the effectiveness of the consultation process.

How effectively does this school respond to other children whose learning and achievement need acceleration?

The school has responded effectively to many children whose progress requires acceleration. Teachers clearly identify children whose learning is at risk in their planning. This enables them to plan programmes that support these students in their learning. Progress of these students is closely monitored and reported to parents, many of whom feel involved in a partnership with the school focused on accelerating their child's progress. Many of these children benefit from learning support programmes that are planned by classroom teachers and delivered with the assistance of teacher' aides.

4 School conditions

How effectively do the school’s curriculum and other organisational processes and practices develop and enact the school’s vision, values, goals and targets for equity and excellence?

The school curriculum effectively develops and enacts its vision, and values, for equity and excellence. It is appropriately focused on numeracy and literacy learning and includes planned coverage of other subject areas. A strong school kapa haka group and a planned approach to providing extension te reo Māori enables children to experience enrichment in te reo and aspects of tikanga Māori. This group is a highly valued and popular option for many children. Useful next steps for the school are to:

  • implement a planned and sequential te reo Māori programme for all students
  • develop processes to build teachers' confidence to use te reo Māori more frequently as a functional language in their classrooms.

Strong professional relationships among teachers are contributing to collaborative focus on accelerating children's achievement. Teachers are committed to improving their effectiveness and appreciate the support they receive from the principal and school leaders. In classrooms observed by ERO there were very high levels of children's interest, enthusiasm and engagement in learning.

Teachers make good use of assessment data to plan student learning. They keep children well informed about their learning and progress. A useful next step for teachers is to establish resources and techniques to make learning progressions clear and visible to children. This is likely to strengthen children's knowledge of their own achievement and learning, and enable them to monitor their progress and next learning steps. This is especially important for children who are just below the standard as it should provide a visible plan for them to achieve the expected level.

The teaching as inquiry process is assisting teachers to reflect on and improve their practice. Further development of this reflective approach is necessary. This should include a more clearly documented record about how teachers are incorporating the following aspects into their inquiries:

  • assessment data
  • personal reflections
  • professional readings
  • feedback from other teachers.

This approach is needed to more clearly show how teachers are adapting their practice, while focusing on accelerating progress for children whose learning is at risk. It should also enable teachers to more effectively share information with colleagues and provide valuable evidence about how each teacher is meeting the requirements of the Education Council Practising Teacher Criteria.

The principal effectively empowers school leaders to undertake leadership in important areas of school operations, including curriculum development and assessment. This distributive approach is contributing to effective oversight, clarity of agreed school vision, and equitable outcomes for children.

5 Going forward

How well placed is the school to accelerate the achievement of all children who need it?

Leaders and teachers:

  • know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
  • respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
  • regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
  • act on what they know works well for each child
  • build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
  • are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.

Strengths of the school's approach to promoting equitable and excellent outcomes for children are:

  • the principal and trustees have a well-developed understanding of the purpose of self review in making decisions about ongoing improvement
  • teachers are committed to professional learning to improve learning outcomes
  • learners, including children whose progress needs acceleration are purposefully engaged in classroom programmes
  • there are systems in place to address the learning needs of students with identified, additional requirements.

Important next steps for the school are to:

  • improve the approach to setting annual targets to ensure they are more closely focused on reducing disparity for Māori children
  • document consultation with Māori whānau and report clearly about the outcomes of consultation
  • ensure the strategic alignment of school priorities, decisions and developments to reducing disparity in the school
  • continue to implement an approach to teaching as inquiry focused on accelerating progress for children whose learning is at risk
  • explore teaching strategies that enable students to be increasingly aware of their own assessments, progress and learning journey.

ERO is likely to carry out the next full review in three years. 

6 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and Self Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration

  • curriculum

  • management of health, safety and welfare

  • personnel management

  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)

  • physical safety of students

  • teacher registration

  • processes for appointing staff

  • stand down, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions

  • attendance

  • compliance with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

  • provision for international students

Provision for international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) was introduced on July 1st 2016. The school is aware of the need to update its policies and procedures to meet the new code requirements by December 1st 2016.

At the time of this ERO review there were two international students attending the school.

The school is making good progress in aligning its policies and procedures to meet requirements for the 2016 Code.

7 Recommendation

ERO recommends that the school continues with teacher professional learning, including the use of external support, focused on continuing to address disparity in the school and promoting excellence and equity for all students.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

17 February 2017

About the school 

Location

Te Puke

Ministry of Education profile number

1882

School type

Contributing (Years 1 to 6)

School roll

219

Number of international students

2

Gender composition

Boys 53% Girls 47%

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Indian

Samoan

Other

47%

47%

3%

1%

2%

Review team on site

December 2016

Date of this report

17 February 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

February 2014

December 2009

February 2007